ASC and Heuliez Group have formed a strategic alliance where each company will represent, in its own home market, technologies of the other. The alliance will allow ASC to represent Heuliez's retractable hard-top (RHT) technology in North America, and Heuliez to represent ASC's soft-top convertible technology in Europe.

In a statement ASC and Heuliez said the agreement brings together two companies with experience in both RHT and soft-top design and production but have so far largely been regional players.

"This alliance allows each company to expand globally, yet to do at a minimum cost and while leveraging the expertise of the other where needed," they said.

In North America, ASC is a leader soft-top technology, with more than 150 patents and innovations, and more than 1million convertibles produced, in its 41-year history while Heuliez - make of the roof system for the pioneering Peugeot 206 coupe-cabriolet, claims to be the volume leader for RHTs in Europe, and has registered more than 200 patents and innovations.

In addition to open-air systems, ASC and Heuliez are both also niche- and derivate-vehicle developers. For instance, ASC was responsible for the development and sub-assembly of the
Chevrolet SSR roadster/pickup, which itself features a RHT. ASC presently builds soft-top convertible systems for the Toyota Camry Solara and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

Heuliez presently produces the complete Opel Tigra "TwinTop" model, and the roof and deck lid module for the 206 CC. Both cars were developed by Heuliez.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more